Dictionary of Terms


Iconic Memory A form of sensory memory that holds a brief visual image of a scene that has just been perceived.

Id The unconscious reservoir of libido; the psychic energy that fuels instincts and psychic processes.

Illusion of Out-Group Homogeneity A belief that members of groups to which one does not belong are very similar to one another.

Illusory Correlation An apparent correlation between two distinctive elements that does not actually exist.

Immune System A network of organs and cells that protects the body from invading bacteria, viruses, and other foreign substances.

Immunoglobulins The antibodies that are released by B lymphocytes.

Implicit Memory Memory that cannot be described verbally and of which a person is therefore not aware.

Implosion Therapy A form of therapy that attempts to rid people of fears by arousing them intensely until their responses diminish through habituation and learn that nothing bad happens.

Impression Formation The way in which we form impressions of others and attribute specific characteristics and traits to them.

Incest The mating of close relatives who share many of the same genes.

Inclusive Fitness The reproductive success of those who share common genes.

Incongruence In Rogersís view, discrepancy between a client's real and ideal selves.

Independent Variable The variable that is manipulated in an experiment as a means of determining cause-and-effect relations. Manipulation of an independent variable demonstrates whether it affects the value of the dependent variable.

Indigenous Healing Non-Western, culture-bound approaches to the treatment of psychological and medical problems.

Inductive Reasoning Inferring general principles or rules from specific facts.

Inferential Statistics Mathematical procedures for determining whether relations or differences between samples are statistically significant.

Inflection A change in the form of a word (usually by adding a suffix) to denote a grammatical feature such as tense or number.

Information Processing An approach used by cognitive psychologists to explain the workings of the brain; information received through the senses is processed by systems of neurons in the brain.

Informed Consent Agreement to participate as a subject in an experiment after being informed about the nature of the research and any possible adverse effects.

Intelligence A personís ability to learn and remember information, to recognize concepts and their relations, and to apply the information to their own behavior in an adaptive way.

Intelligence Quotient (IQ) A simplified single measure of general intelligence; by definition, the ratio of a personís mental age to his or her chronological age, multiplied by 100; often derived by other formulas.

Intermittent Reinforcement The occasional reinforcement of a particular behavior; produces responding that is more resistant to extinction.

Interneuron A neuron located entirely within the central nervous system.

Interpersonal Attraction Peopleís tendency to approach each other and to evaluate each other positively.

Interposition A monocular cue of depth perception; an object that partially occludes another object is perceived as closer.

Interrater Reliability The degree to which two or more independent observers agree in their ratings of another organismís behavior.

Intraspecific aggression The attack by one animal upon another member of its species.

Introspection Literally, "looking within," in an attempt to describe oneís own memories, perceptions, cognitive processes, or motivations.

Introversion The tendency to avoid the company of other people, especially large groups of people; shyness.

Ion A positively or negatively charged particle; produced when many substances dissolve in water.

Ion Channel A special protein molecule located in the membrane of a cell; controls the entry or exit of particular ions.

Ion Transporter A special protein molecule located in the membrane of a cell; actively transports ions into or out of the cell.

Iris The pigmented muscle of the eye that controls the size of the pupil.

Isolation Aphasia A language disturbance that includes an inability to comprehend speech or to produce meaningful speech without affecting the ability to repeat speech and to learn new sequences of words; caused by damage that isolates the brainís speech mechanisms from other parts of the brain.

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